#MiniBlogblitz Pixeldust by T.K. Arispe

Today it’s my turn on the Mini Blog Blitz Pixeldust by T.K. Arispe.

About the Author

T. K. Arispe is an illustrator, gamer, and unashamed nerd with a background in animation and webcomic production, including the webcomic Trainer Wants to Fight! which somehow got its own page on TVTropes. She loves interesting stories, well-crafted worlds, and memorable characters, and is passionate about creating quality, intelligent, slightly offbeat media that everyone can enjoy. Most of her story ideas come from random research binges, usually in the fields of theoretical physics, computer science, or oddly enough food history. She lives in California, where she enjoys not having to deal with snow because it is terrifying.

Follow on Facebook, on Instagram, on Goodreads, Visit tkarispe.comBuy Pixeldust

About the book

Maria Elena thought she’d sworn off gaming forever. But she hates her new internship, so her brother Balt convinces her to play Heroes of Avonell, a cutting-edge virtual-reality video game with such complex programming that it’s like the non-player characters are self-aware.

Disappointed with the usual cliché job class offerings, Maria Elena’s character Quinny stumbles through a glitch in the game and ends up in Caed Dhraos, a strange city populated with friendly monsters. Quinny decides to work for the resident dark lord as part of his magic personnel, but she can’t tell anybody she’s playing in off-limits areas of the game—not even Balt. Soon Quinny finds herself getting to the bottom of a mystery surrounding an ancient demon and why Caed Dhraos is suffering from the Blight.

But the artificial intelligences in the game really are self-aware, and some of Avonell’s so-called “heroes” have decided they don’t like humanity very much. The game has gone out of control, and Maria Elena and her new friends have to find a way to set things right. Can she save Avonell – and Earth – while juggling her real job and trying to salvage her crumbling relationship with her brother?

Pixeldust is a dive into a fantastical, fun virtual world where the universe may be made of data, but the dangers, friendships, magic, and lessons learned are very real.

Review

Maria Elena is unhappy in her dreary job as an accountant. She really misses the world of gaming and being able to connect with her brother through games. She promised herself that she would be more of a grown-up and stay away from the virtual temptation. Famous last words.

Her brother convinces her to have some well deserved downtime and to try out a new game. Avonell turns out to be so much more than just an RPG. It challenges her perception of games and her priorities in life, when life the game inside takes on an authenticity she just wasn’t expecting.

The plot plays on the increasingly popular topic of AI and where the lines are drawn between Artificial Intelligence and human intelligence, and how those lines are being crossed more often as technology advances.

I can imagine this is a scenario a gamer would love and perhaps quite a few readers too, when the fantasy is real and being able to immerse yourself into the game is a reality. When characters are no longer just fiction, but rather a tangible reality.

This is fantasy that fell into the YA bracket for me and would also be suitable for younger readers. Although saying fantasy, perhaps this is the start of a new sub-genre – gaming fantasy, gaming fanfic fantasy. If that’s the case then it definitely has plenty of potential as a genre and one Arispe could explore further.

Buy Pixeldust – ebook and Paperback Amazon com or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. 

#BlogBlitz Spider Games by K.J. McGillick

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Spider Games, the first A Conspiracy of Betrayal series, by K. J. McGillick.About the Author

K. J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that’s what New Yorker’s do. Right? A Registered Nurse, a lawyer now author.

As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing, she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing.

Follow @KJMcGillickAuth on Twitter, on Goodreadson Facebookon Amazon, Visit kjmcgillick.comBuy Spider Games

About the book

How do you kill a spider?

Kate O’Brien is pure dedication; she believes in the justice system. This feisty, no-nonsense attorney works herself to the bone every day, tirelessly building her reputation and career. She is on the path to being a legal star. That is until her corrupt law partner, Bill Brown, a criminal defense attorney, achieves a degree of notoriety which attracts the interest of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

When the inconceivable happens, Bill is arrested, charged with multiple counts of drug trafficking and money laundering leaving the law firm in chaos. As Kate slowly digs her way out, what she finds sends her down a dark path that could lead to her imprisonment or death. Bill has meticulously set her up to pay for his malevolent crimes. His cohorts, fearing she knows too much, have marked her for death. Can she stay ahead of the FBI and unravel crimes that reach as far as China and Russia? Or will she need to assume a new identity to save her own life?

A fast-paced thriller that keeps you guessing until the end. Suspenseful crime fiction with twists and turns throughout this masterfully plotted novel keeps you on the edge of your seat. It may be read as a standalone and serves as the first book in the series, A Conspiracy of Betrayal.

Review

It might only take you a few pages or chapters, but I can nearly guarantee you will at some point either feel sorry for Kate O’Brien or think she is way out of her depth. She starts the story off on the wrong foot and never really manages to get on the right one.

It is just one hit after the other. At first she is blindsided by what she perceives to be accidents, miscommunications, a partner too lazy to fill her in on details, but eventually even she twigs to the fact that somehow something is wrong in the state of Denmark.

Then the question becomes – is she an innocent bystander or a convenient patsy? What starts out as stepping in for another lawyer, as the drunken and violent wife of a reputable member of society is arrested for murder, quickly spirals into something that stinks worse than a sardine sandwich locked in a car during a heatwave.

It’s a legal, police procedural and has a modern urban crime fiction vibe. It has a certain snark to it, is fast-paced and it’s fair to say you never know what’s behind the next door. The main character is this interesting combination of sassy lawyer – someone who has no clue what’s going on or what she is doing, and the pivotal figure in a – no, wait she still doesn’t know.

This is the first book in A Conspiracy of Betrayal series. This is my fourth book by McGillick and in my opinion the best I have read by this particular author so far.

Buy Spider Games (A Conspiracy of Betrayal #1) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my reviews of One: Rage Vengeance Murder, Two: Mind Games and Murder and Three: Deception Love Murder by K.J. McGillick.

#BlogBlitz The Plastic Seed by Maisie Porter

I am taking part in the Blog Blitz for The Plastic Seed by Maisie Porter. It questions the validity and hypocrisy of the wellness philosophy. In a way it also questions the people behind the system. About the Author

Maisie Porter works as a professional photographer in Australia, with wide experience covering weddings, though she has neither abducted nor been abducted by any competitors. No Reception is Maisie’s first novel.

Follow Maisie on Twitter – @eyeointment @crookedcatbooks,

Buy The Plastic Seed

About the book

Two schemes uncoil—and, very quickly, begin to unravel—on the same day in the Australian town of West Glassport…

Jean Hima isn’t happy with the way her life has been going. First, her husband leaves her. Then, she loses her job as a midwife at the local hospital, over the easily-fixed misplacement of a baby or two…

Now, Jean is sure a snooty real estate agent is blocking her efforts to find a rental in a nice part of town. Given possession of a batch of incriminating photographs, who wouldn’t begin thinking about a little life-restorative blackmail?

Written in three acts and covering a quarter of a century, The Plastic Seed is an environmental thriller that explores the hypocrisy of some aspects of the philosophy of wellness. This novella is part satire of the human potential movement, and sincere testimony to the ability of humans to face facts when given no choice.

Review

The opening pages are brief, but also a spectacular draw in for a potential reader.

The focus is on three characters across the timeline of five, ten and twenty years. Jean is an alcoholic who takes no responsibility for her actions and doesn’t seem to think her need to drink to get through each day is a problem. She has a collection of beer and alcoholic beverages that travel with her wherever she goes. Alcohol to get to sleep at night, a wee drink to get through the day and a drink here and there just for the heck of it. A midwife in charge of delivering babies and in charge of the health of mothers and babies, who has been known to give the wrong child to the wrong mother. What could possibly go wrong?

Of course none of that is her fault. It’s everyone else’s fault. Maybe it’s Amy or Carlana’s fault. The daughter on a road straight to jail or the neighbour who is a complete hypocrite. Professionally she suggests a certain lifestyle, actions and attitudes but in her real life Carlana applies nothing she actually recommends.

I’m going to go back to the fact that the opening act promises a gritty crime, and yet lyrical pose in equal measures. The plot veers off in an entirely different direction into an environmental thriller. It questions the validity and hypocrisy of the wellness philosophy. In a way it also questions the people behind the system.

It’s a novella (123 pages). A short read that introduces readers to this author and her particular style of storytelling. I found the beginning atmospheric and memorable. I would buy a book based on those first few pages. I thought the rest was a wee bit disjointed and lacked direction. The middle and end are worlds apart from the promising lure at the start.

I think Porter could potentially have a wicked little crime or psychological thriller inside her waiting to be written.

Buy The Plastic Seed at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Ecopy pub by Publisher: Crooked Cat Books December 19, 2018. Crooked Cat Books. Hardcover pub independently Dec 2018. Buy at Amazon com.